8. The national trade-mark.—England in 1891 passed a law that all imported goods were to be con spicuously marked with the name of the country from which they were exported. This was because it was believed that the success of foreign goods in the home market was due mainly to fraud. The chief effect of the law was to advertise German goods both in England and in South America where English firms frequently resold these German goods. The law was revised in 1907 to have imported goods labelled "made abroad." But the lesson had been taught and the "made in Germany" labels first demanded by Ger many's leading trade rival advertised German prod ucts in every corner of the world.
Lately, the advisability of adopting a national trade-mark for the United States has been discussed in export circles. The National Retail Dry Goods Association and other bodies have indorsed it. It is represented that a national trade-mark which would be registered in all countries, would not only adver tise American goods but would also aid the American manufacturer in fighting the fraudulent registrations of his own trade-mark abroad, since no one but he could carry both his individual trade-mark and the label "made in the U. S. A." The administrative difficulties of such an under taking may stand in the way of its adoption. It would not help American prestige abroad to grant the use of this national mark to every one making application. Poor goods under the American label would reflect on the label itself. But how is it to be decided who shall and who shall not receive the right to the trade-mark? In Switzerland a semi-official organization grants the right to use the Swiss national trade-mark only to firms owned by Swiss and employing Swiss labor. The administration of this trade-mark is in the hands of the Syndicat pour l'Exportation Suisse which body consists of fifteen members, the president of the Gen eva Chamber of Commerce acting as chairman. The object of this national trade-mark is to protect Swiss industry from the suspicion that German firms are masquerading in the world markets as Swiss firms.
In Ireland, a national trade-mark "made in Ire land" was adopted in 1906 and is administered by the Irish Industrial Development Association, Inc.
A suggestive proposal made by Mr. Beaumont Alexander, president of the Allied Industries Cor poration, has been widely discussed. It is for the enactment in all allied and neutral countries of a law requiring that all goods imported into the countries where the law is in force be stamped with the name of the country of their origin. If the goods are made in
one country with capital coming from another they would be stamped, "made in Sweden with U. S. A. capital," or, "made in Holland with 7.5 per cent Dutch capital and 25 per cent French capital." An international agreement of this type would be an effective protection against camouflaged products which any nation might try to dump upon the markets of the world thru indirect channels. Intention to dump in this way was attributed to German exporters because of many published articles, of which these quo tations from "The Future of German Industrial Ex ports," by S. Herzog, are representative: Out of regard for the rehabilitation of trade with for merly hostile countries, the German garb of manufactured articles must be put away.
The German trade-mark ought not to be used at first in export trade with formerly hostile countries; the same rule holds good in placing German patent stamps on the outside of goods.
The reopening of export relationships with once hostile countries must take place thru neutrals instead of thru di rect representatives as in the past.
9. International standardization.—The wide use which has been made of the metric system in Amer ican machine's hops during the war times, especially in dealing with instruments of precision, has broken down the wall of prejudice which existed in this coun try against nn adoption of that system. It is within the possibilities that the United States will at some fu ure date follow the example of the thirty-four coun tries which have made the use of the system com pulsory. It is already used exclusively in the United States Public Health Service, in the Philippine Is lands, in Porto Rico, in the medical work of the War Department, and of the Navy, and in the coinage sys tem. All of Europe, with the exception of England and Greece, all of Latin America, except Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela, have adopted it.
It is beyond question that our present system of measurements is clumsy. It is an obstacle in foreign trade transactions, "non-metric" products not being usable as a rule in "metric" countries; the "non metric" business man cannot easily grasp statistics and other market information which comes to him in terms of the metric system ; while the ignorance of foreign countries respecting our system makes our trade literature and price quotations unintelligible to them. The only objections against our changing our system are the difficulty and expense of doing so.